Today is our 15th wedding anniversary.
I truly cannot believe that we've been married for FIFTEEN YEARS!
It's 2:08 PM as I begin to write this blog here in Charlotte, NC.
Fifteen years ago at this very moment, I was on my way to the Williamstown Baptist Church in a white Cadillac that we'd rented for the occasion for a 2 PM wedding ceremony.
This is what we wrote and said to each other:
"I Gail/Steve take you Steve/Gail to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife.
As God gives me strength,
I will laugh with you in joy,
grieve with you in sorrow,
and grow with you in love.
On this day, as I commit myself to care for you,
I offer myself into your loving care.
Now and throughout our lives."
Aren't those cool vows?
The 2 PM ceremony had been preceded by a 10 AM breakfast at the Williams Inn for all our family, friends, and invited guests. It was a wonderful way to begin our wedding day. No need to have all those people come in from out of town and have nothing to do and nowhere to go for the hours leading up to the nuptials. Following the ceremony, we returned to the Inn for a light reception, cake, punch (ours was a "dry" reception), and dancing. Because everyone had met at the breakfast, conversation, dancing, and mingling were a cinch at the reception. By 7 PM, the festivities was over, and not soon thereafter, Steve and I sat looking at each other wondering what had happened to us.
I suspect that around 7 PM tonight, we will do exactly the same thing.
We'll be sitting across from each other at dinner,
look up from our plates at each other
and wonder aloud, "What has happened to us?"
Four homes - although one was a small one-bedroom rent-free apartment on the third floor of a boys' dorm at a boarding school in Connecticut. That hardly counts...
Two deceased fathers.
Two deranged mothers. (I hope my Mom isn't reading this!)
We've gone through so much together.
We've traveled to England, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, and many of these US of A together.
We've watched our fathers suffer debilitating illnesses and have buried both of them.
We've watched churches stumble, crumble, and fall.
We've encouraged friends to get married when love was under construction.
We've encouraged friends to stay married when divorce was under consideration.
We've weathered our own marital, personal, family, and financial storms.
We've watched our children grow from wiggly little eruptions in my abdomen into a preteen young woman and budding young man that we are proud to call our children and glad to call our friends.
Looking back, I realize that we have lived up to our vows:
we have laughed, grieved, and grown together.
In joy, sorrow, and love. Not always in that order.
There have been challenges.
There have never been regrets.
There are many trials and challenges yet to come; that's inevitable.
There are also many joys and triumphs yet to come; that's incontrovertible.
And fifteen more years.
Happy Anniversary to us!